What is “You’ve Been Hacked!” e-mail spam

The “You’ve Been Hacked!” email scam is a type of phishing attack where scammers send emails claiming to have stolen personal information from recipients. The scammers then demand payment, often in the form of Bitcoin, in return for not publishing the stolen details. These emails often claim that the scammers have stolen login credentials for payment systems, social networks, email accounts, and other sensitive data. However, these claims are typically false and are designed to scare the recipient into complying with the scammer’s demands.

You've Been Hacked! e-mail spam

Spam campaigns can infect computers in several ways. One common method is through phishing emails. These emails often appear to come from reputable companies and contain links or attachments that, when clicked or opened, can install harmful malware on the recipient’s computer. Another common technique used by cybercriminals is creating malicious Office macros. These macros, which are often enabled by default to run commands, can be used to execute malicious code and provide cybercriminals with a way to gain control of a computer.

E-mail contents
Email text
Hello!
You've been hacked!
Now we have all the information about you and your accounts:
+ all your logins and passwords from all accounts in payment systems, social. networks, e-mail, messengers and other services (cookies from all your browsers, i.e. access without a login and password to any of your accounts)
+ history of all your correspondence by e-mail, messengers and social. networks
+ all files from your PC (text, photo, video and audio files)
Changing your username and password will not help, we will hack you again.
Pay a ransom of $ 250 and you can sleep peacefully without worrying that all information about you and all your accounts, files and personal correspondence will not become public and will not fall into the hands of intruders.
Bitcoin wallet to which you want to transfer $ 250 1MaRdde6X7SGuoCdFNL2fmgpLomdx7peGC
If you do not pay until tomorrow evening, then we will sell all this information on the darknet, there is a huge demand for such information
Pay $ 250 and sleep well!

Risks of interacting with “You’ve Been Hacked!” e-mail spam

Interacting with the “You’ve Been Hacked!” email scam can have serious consequences. If a recipient falls for the scam and pays the demanded amount, they are directly funding cybercriminal activities. Moreover, if they provide the scammers with sensitive information, such as credit card details or passwords, they risk identity theft and unauthorized access to their accounts. Even if a recipient doesn’t provide any information or money, simply clicking on a link or opening an attachment in a scam email can lead to a malware infection. This malware can steal sensitive information, damage files, and even use the infected computer to spread the spam to other contacts.

  1. Download Anti-Spam and Anti-Malware Tools
  2. Mark unwanted e-mail messages as Spam
  3. Delete Spam letters
  4. Unsubscribe from e-mail campaigns
  5. Change your e-mail address and forward it
  6. Final tips

1. Download Anti-Spam Tool

There are special programs designed to protect yourself against various threats arriving at e-mail. Third-party software providing advanced anti-spam algorithms and filtering tools will be good and more reliable protection in addition to the standard capabilities of many e-mail services. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications and provides a very high level of anti-spam protection and can stop “You’ve Been Hacked!” e-mail scam.

Download MailWasher Pro

2. Download Anti-Malware Tool

To make sure there are no malware already installed on your PC you should check it with advanced antimalware. Even if you have standard anti-virus protection, scan with quality anti-malware can be helpful as it has different database and algorithms designed to find and remove viruses and bloatware wide-spread among regular users. We recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

Download Malwarebytes

1. Mark e-mail as Spam

If an e-mail message has not been put to the “spam” or “junk” folder itself, then users can do it themselves in just a couple of steps. Marking e-mail as spam will let your e-mail service know how to treat the unwanted sender next time. All further messages received from the spam-marked address will be located in the appropriate folder already without your help. Here is how:

Gmail:

  1. Open your Gmail and find a message you want to classify as “spam”.
  2. Select this message by clicking on the square box next to it.
  3. Then, click on the stop sign icon (the one with an exclamation mark) on top.

Yahoo! Mail:

  1. Open your Yahoo! Mail and find a message you want to classify as “spam”.
  2. Select this message by clicking on the square box next to it.
  3. Then, click on the Spam icon on top.

Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Open your Microsoft Outlook and find a message you want to classify as “spam”.
  2. Select this message by clicking on the square box next to it.
  3. Then, click on Junk and Block afterward.

Apple Mail:

  1. Open your Apple Mail and find a message you want to classify as “spam”.
  2. Click on it and choose the Junk Mail (trash can with “X”) icon.

2. Delete Spam letters

You can also clear your “spam” or “junk” folder from all the collected such letters. It is always good to maintain your e-mail clean and without trash that clutters even your spam folders. This is how you can wipe it:

Gmail:

  1. Open your Gmail and go to Spam on sidebar.
  2. If you want to wipe all the spam letters at once, click Delete All Spam Messages Now.
  3. If you want to do it selectively, click on the message you need and choose Delete forever.

Yahoo! Mail:

  1. Open your Yahoo! Mail and navigate to Spam on the sidebar.
  2. Choose e-mails you want to remove and click Delete on top.

Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Open your Microsoft Outlook and navigate to Junk Email on the sidebar.
  2. Then, click on Empty folder to clear all spam messages.

Apple Mail:

  1. Open your Apple Mail and navigate to Spam on the sidebar.
  2. Choose e-mails you want to remove and click the Trash can icon on top.

3. Unsubscribe from e-mail campaigns

Many websites offer users to enter their e-mail address in exchange for exclusive content notifications, and tons of other marketing stuff. Over some time, regular users can subscribe to multiple resources that bombard your inbox and spam folder with continuous messages. This can be stopped by unsubscribing to them. Many messages, if opened, have a small gray hyperlink or button “Unsubscribe”. Clicking on it should unsubscribe you from letters you have been receiving for some time. Note that some intentionally malicious letters may use fake “Unsubscribe” buttons to deceive users into downloading malware or visiting suspicious pages. Therefore, remember to always stay on alert!

You can also do the following to unsubscribe to multiple newsletters in Gmail at once:

  1. Open your Gmail and type Unsubscribe into the search box on top.
  2. Then, click on the Show search options icon on the right end of the search box.
  3. Click on Create filter and select checkboxes next to Delete it and Apply filter to matching conversations.
  4. After selecting, finish by clicking on Create filter.

This will lead to all previously subscribed messages evaporating from your flood list in seconds. No more letters of such will appear in your Inbox or other folders again.

4. Change your e-mail address and forward it

It is sometimes hard to get rid of all spam in case of an e-mail breach. Receiving unreasonably high numbers of spam could mean your e-mail was leaked to large masses of spamming campaigns grateful to use it. Victims of this can quite easily avoid it by creating a new e-mail address and forwarding incoming e-mails from their old address. Don’t worry, this will not redirect abnormal streams of spam to this new address, but only normal messages you received on your behalf. It is also worth notifying people you had close contact with that you changed your e-mail address, so they do not get scared after receiving a message from an unknown address.

  1. First, you should begin with creating a new account for the e-mail service you use (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or Apple Mail).
  2. Then, log back into your old account, go to Settings and Add a forwarding address. In Gmail, these settings can be found in the Forwarding POP/IMAP tab. Something similar should be in other services as well.
  3. Enter the newly created e-mail address and click Next > Proceed > OK.
  4. You will then receive a verification message in that newly created address. Make sure you click on it.

If you also want to forward a copy of already existing e-mails, do the following:

  1. Go back to the settings page for the Gmail account you want to forward messages from, and refresh your browser.
  2. Navigate to Forwarding and POP/IMAP and select Forward a copy of incoming mail to.
  3. Choose what you want to happen with the Gmail copy of your emails. It is recommended to choose Keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox. Click Save changes at the end.

All done and dusted! Now, all new messages tied to the previous e-mail will be sent to your new address.

Final tips

There is always a good practice to have personal and business e-mail accounts separately. If you are active on forums, Q&A sites, participate in link building you will probably need another account for that. Major e-mail services and applications like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Apple Mail and Outlook already have strong built-in anti-spam technologies, however, we recommend special software like MailWasher Pro to fight spam campaigns like “You’ve Been Hacked!”.

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